The head of the state’s largest public-employees union called Gov. Andrew Cuomo a “moron” and a “monkey” today at a rally near the Capitol.
Danny Donohue, president of the Civil Service Employees Union, teared into the Democratic governor over cuts to the public workforce and the closure of mental-health facilities and unions.
“Today should be the hue and cry to the governor and with the support of our friends, that we, the people of this state, are sick and tired of being had by this moron,” Donahue said to cheers from the crowd, which included lawmakers and union members.
Cuomo, who is seeking a second term this year, has been at odds with the public unions since he took office in 2011. He had contentious labor negotiations in his first year that led to salary freezes for two years.
Cuomo has also limited the state workforce to help the state deal with budget deficits. And now he wants to use any surplus to fund a property-tax freeze and other initiatives, pledging to keep state spending to less than a 2 percent increase.
Donohue called it “bull——” that Cuomo fought to try to keep 200 jobs at a General Electric plant in the North Country, saying Cuomo continues to cut public services.
“When he says New York is open for business, for some people. And to be honest about it, and I’ll end with this, the state is open for business: monkey business. And it’s Mario Cuomo’s son, Andrew, which is the biggest monkey we got,” Donohue said.
Donohue wasn’t alone in ripping Cuomo.
Former Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco, R-Schenectady, knocked Cuomo for a lack of transparency, calling it a government run by a dictator.
“In darkness, democracy dies,” Tedisco said. “Ladies and gentlemen, this has been government in darkness, government by fiat, government by coercion—a government that you would see in a state where they have a dictator, a totalitarianism state.”
The TU has the video.
Updated: In a statement Friday, the American Federation of Teachers and the Public Employees Federation admitted to some of the “the poor word” choices.”
“New York’s public employees raised serious issues at this week’s rally about the state’s need to invest, not privatize or outsource, essential public services. The poor word choices, which resulted from the passion expressed by some, diverted the attention away from the legitimate concerns of the more than 500 hardworking mental-health workers, correctional officers, caregivers for developmentally-disabled individuals, administrative personnel and others who attended the rally to call for substantive dialogue with the governor about the direction we need to take the Empire State so that it serves all its citizens well, especially the most vulnerable among us.”